any topic in american politics or IR or public police
any topic in american politics or IR or public police
PSC 3011: RESEARCH METHODS
Literature Review-Fall 2015
For this assignment, students will compose a literature review that surveys a number of studies on a
particular topic. This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Thursday, October 3. In addition to
submitting a paper copy of your proposal, students are required to submit an electronic copy through the
Canvas website. To submit your paper, (1) log-in to Canvas, (2) click on the “PSC 301 1” link, (3) click on
the “Assignments” link, (4) click on the “Literature Review” link, (5) click on the “Submit Assignment” link,
(6) copy or upload your essay, and (7) click “Submit Assignment.”
This assignment must be typed on white paper using one-inch margins in 12 point Times New Roman font.
Papers should be five to eight double-spaced pages. Also required are a works cited page that properly cites
all references and resources, and a page with an arrow diagram illustrating theorized relationships among
your dependent and’independent variables. Arrow diagrams must have at least eight independent variables
theorized to affect your dependent variable. The works cited and arrow diagram pages do not count toward
the required page total for this assignment. Students should include their name and student number at the top
of page one. A cover page is not required.
All writing assignments must follow the American Political Science Association (APSA) style manual,
which I have posted on Canvas. Any time you quote, paraphrase, or reference ideas, data, or other material
from a resource, it must be cited at the point in the essay where it is mentioned. APSA style uses
parenthetical citations that include the author(s) name(s) and year. If you are quoting directly from a
resource, you must also include the page number(s) where the quote is located. It is not sufficient to simply
have a works cited page. Papers should not be written in the first person. This means avoiding words such as
1, me, my, and so on. Your academic writing should also avoid using slang or contractions. Failing to adhere
to the formatting requirements and grammatical or spelling mistakes will result in a lower grade. Please
proofread and revise your literature review before turning it in.
The university library’s homepage-http://library.auraria.edu- provides a variety of search functions for
keywords, authors, articles, and journals. Accessing the electronic editions of academic journals through the
library’s website from off campus may require students to log-in with their student identification number.
Students may also find jstor.org and scholar.google.com helpful in their search for sources.
Acceptable academic resources must be from academic journals. It is fine to include citations to the textbook
for the course or popular sources (such as The New York Times), but these do not count as academic
resources required for this assignment. In general, material from sites such as Wikipedia, blogs, and other
websites not recognized as reputable news sources should not be cited in your literature review. It is usually
fine to conduct research on the web to provide background information, but the material citedin your essay
should consist of academic and other credible resources. If you have difficulty locating sources for the
assignment, contact me or the library help desk at 303-556-2639. .7
1) Research Topic & Questions
What is the main topic that your research seeks to address? SpeCifically, what are you proposing to
analyze in your research? This section should lay out a specific and manageable question that your
research will try to answer. Research questions must be in the form of “Why does ‘Y’ vary?” such that
you are attempting to explain variation in a specific dependent variable with other independent variables.
Remember that you are attempting to identify causal relationships.
2) Literature Review
This section of the paper requires students to first find between five and seven academic sources on a
particular tOpic. 0’13:ka soumeziiallowcdfi, but the rest of your sources must be articles from academic journals.
The purpose of identifying published research in a given area is to examine the conclusions of
other scholars that have previously studied the topic.
Upon locating a sufficient number of academic sources, students should carefully read and analyze each
article. To do this, it would be helpful to take notes that describe each source. For each article, students
should be able to identify the research questions, theory and hypotheses, unit of analysis, data, and results.
After developing an understanding of each source, students will need to synthesize the research into a
coherent literature review. You might consider some of the questions that follow.
0 What are the key findings of the existing literature on this topic?
How do the arguments presented in each article relate to one another?
What evidence is used to support conclusions made by the authors?
0 Are the articles complimentary to one another or do they reach differing conclusions?
0 How will your research build on the published research you have identified?
3) Explanatory Framework
This section will serve as the foundation for your research design. It is important to ensure that you have
identified an appropriate unit of analysis, and that your dependent and independent variables each vary
according to your unit of analysis. In addition to your written description of your explanatory framework,
all students must include an arrow diagram (similar to figure 4-2 in the textbook) that illustrates at least
eight independent variables theorized to affect your dependent variable.
0 What is your unit of analysis?
0 What is your dependent variable? Which two independent variables will your study examine?
Cleary state two hypotheses that your research proposes to test. These should be simple and specific
arguments that are clearly tied to your research questions. These also need to be testable, so you’ll need to
be able to measure/quantify both your independent and dependent variables. Hypotheses must be framed
as “If ‘X’, then ‘Y”’ statements.
0 For example, Hypothesis #1: “If a candidate’s name recognition increases, then the candidate will
receive a greater number of votes.”
This example suggests that increases in ‘X’ (name recognition) will have a positive relationship with
‘Y’ (number of votes received). Here, we might want to use the congressional district as the unit of
analysis, and collect data on candidate name recognition among voters in each district (independent
variable), and the number of votes received by candidates in each district (dependent variable).
How do you expect your independent variables to affect your dependent variable? Is the expected
relationship positive or negative? fl
5) Works Cited
All papers must have a works cited that cites all of the sources mentioned in the literature review. Please
follow the APSA style manual that I have distributed in class and posted on Canvas.
Literature Reviews will be graded by the following criteria: